David was running out of time. He needed to gain access to a Manhattan campus within the hour. His spring break visitors from the South would arrive any minute. David was trusting God to literally open doors for them to share their faith at a college we hadn’t seen success at in years.
No one in David’s network had responded. The outlook was bleak. Then, while en route on the subway, he received a text from a friend of a friend who had the credentials to pass security. This person would be available to meet his group and ensure they wouldn’t be turned away.
Most Manhattan buildings don’t allow people to walk in off the street. You need a special ID, a host, or an appointment. Once on campus, you must be ready to explain to anyone why you’re there. We tell them Cru is a Christian ministry serving the campus as a spiritual resource for students and faculty.
This brings up an important question. What is a good way to tell people you’ve just met about Jesus? Answer: embrace the awkwardness. Moving through it is the main friction holding us back from meaningful conversations. So we challenge our students, “Are you willing to feel awkward for Jesus?”
Next, they need to know what to talk about. We’ve created all kinds of tools ranging from conversation pieces, to questionnaires, to interviews, and gospel tracts. People love being asked what they think. They also respond well when we listen well.
David’s group spent their day striking up conversations in a cafeteria. Many had never heard the gospel and two students prayed to receive Christ on the spot. Over three weeks with 180 spring break visitors we witnessed 32 NYC students put their trust in Jesus at 17 different campuses!
They traded beaches for metro passes, bikinis for Bibles, and keg stands for faith-filled prayers. The past three weeks our team hosted a remarkable group of nearly 200 college students from across the East Coast. They chose to spend their vacations sharing the gospel on NYC's campuses.
Our visitors eagerly wore their legs out venturing to ten schools representing 200,000 of NYC’s 1.3 million students. This visit was the ideal win-win scenario. They offered us unparalleled availability and enthusiasm and initiated hundreds of meaningful conversations. We offered them an exciting itinerary exploring the most influential city in the world.
Because of their efforts we have four new believers, many follow-up appointments, and an array of new students who want to start ministries on their campuses!
One visitor shared:
“We were talking with a student named Ryan and when we started with the first point of the Knowing God Personally booklet (that God loves us and has a wonderful plan for us), he began to cry. We asked why and he said, ‘I always wanted to know if God loves me.’ Now he knows!”
In the coming weeks our team will be meeting with these new connections to answer questions and further explain the gospel. They’ll also be equipping new helpers to facilitate gatherings and outreaches.
Currently, Cru is only at a handful of the 140 campuses in the area, and there are more staff like us who are raising support to be able to report full-time. We are excited that these spring break visitors offered extra man-power and helped surface other students who want to help their peers know Jesus on their campuses.
Pray with us that...
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